Vinegar with Summer Herbs

Here is a useful recipe for using extra Summer herbs when they are plentiful and cheap.  This recipe is based on one found in the book The Unprejudiced Palette by Angelo Pellegrini (which is a colorful read, by the way).  It is very easy and economical to make and the final product adds a burst of Summer flavor to salads throughout the year.

This recipe is intentionally lacking in specific quantities so that you can adjust to the amount of herbs you have on hand.  Similarly, other mixes of herbs and spices will be successful as well.



Good quality white wine vinegar
French tarragon
Red flaked pepper
Black peppercorns
peeled garlic cloves


  1. Wash the basil and tarragon and tarragon and shake to remove extra water. Stuff the herbs, stem and all, into a jar large enough so that the jar is filled but only loosely packed.
  2. Add garlic cloves, peppercorns and pepper flake as desired. For a quart jar, I use about a 1/2 tablespoon of each pepper and peppercorns and 3 garlic cloves.
  3. Add white wine vinegar to the jar leaving almost no head space. Close the jar tightly with a lid, give it a good shake and leave it in a cool place for 2 weeks. Give the jar a vigorous shake every 2-3 days.
  4. Strain the vinegar into a container twice the volume of the jar used for macerating the vinegar. Add enough white wine vinegar so that the new container is full (in other words, if you originally used a quart jar, the final volume should be 2 quarts).
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